A series of studies from our laboratory have established that fetal rat and human neuropeptide Y (NPY) cortical neurons in aggregate cultures are differentially regulated. In a preliminary study we found that primary astrocytes produce substantial amounts of immunoreactive (IR) NPY. We addressed the question: Is astrocyte production of NPY-IR a regulated process? The effects of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF, 50 ng/ml), basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), substance P (1 μM), forskolin (10 μM), or phorbol 12-myristate-13-acetate (PMA, 20 nM) on NPY-IR production was tested on rat and human primary astrocyte cultures. Of these agents, PMA and bFGF markedly induced NPY-IR production by rat as well as human astrocytes, forskolin induced NPY-IR production by human but not rat astrocytes, and neither BDNF nor substance P induced NPY-IR production by rat or human astrocytes. The molecular size of PMA-induced NPY-IR was found to be consistent with that of proNPY. Moreover, PMA induced the accumulation of mRNA corresponding in size to the neuronal NPY-mRNA. Immunocytochemical analysis of human post-mortem neocortex revealed co-existence of NPY-IR with astrocyte markers. These results indicate that cultured astrocytes express NPY gene in a regulated manner and they support our proposition that in situ reactive astrocytes may express NPY gene under some physiological/pathological conditions. Copyright (C) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V.
- Basic fibroblast growth factor
- Brain derived neurotrophic factor
- Phorbol ester
- Substance P
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience